In the past decade, the Indiana health department has amped-up it’s message on radon. More and more, residents are taking the threat of radon seriously. Yet, as higher numbers of radon mitigation systems are installed throughout the area, understanding how to properly maintain these systems is of the utmost importance.
Before we look at the details of maintenance and repairs, it’s important to understand the two most common types of radon mitigation systems.
Types of Radon Mitigation Systems:
- Sub-Slab Suction – This method is made for older homes built on slabs. It requires the radon mitigation technician to dig a pit beneath the slab. A specialized radon fan then sucks out the radon-contaminated air, venting it outside.
- Drain-Tile Suction – For homes with a basement or crawl-space, this system utilizes the drain-tile already in place. Drain tile will naturally draw radon from the soil. A pipe will then penetrate into the drain tile to vent the gases outside.
Common Radon Mitigation System Issues:
Whatever system you might have, there are a few components that are most likely to be damaged over time. Fans and pipes are highest in their susceptibility to damage due to their often precarious placement. It’s not uncommon for a lawnmower to run over a pipe or fan, or for a bird to dive into an exhaust pipe.
Like any system, components will deteriorate over time. Radon fans have an average life expectancy of 15 years. Manometers are measuring devices that must be constantly monitored.
Moreover, systems must continue to meet updated code requirements. Some of the most common codes we see issues with include:
- The shut off switch must be three feet away from fan (in weather-tight materials)
- The exhaust pipe must extend 12 inches above gutters (if soffit vents exist)
- To avoid cracking and back-spill into house, a Schedule-40 pipe must be used.
- All exhaust pipes should have two straps every 10 feet
Whatever system you have, and however old it is, it’s always important to ensure everything is up-to-date and working properly. Furthermore, it’s vital that a professional take a look at things, so common problems like cracked/leaky pipes or low-suction fans can be identified. Homeowners should take the threat of radon seriously. Let Certified Home Inspections take a look at your system, and ensure your home is safe and healthy.